Amidst the ongoing severe water crisis in parts of Tamil Nadu, clashed were reported between residents across the state.
Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanpal’s driver, Aathimoolam Ramakrishnan, was arrested last week after he attacked his neighbour over a dispute on water-sharing.
In another similar incident, on June 6, social activist Anand Babu was beaten to death in Thanjavur after he objected to four residents drawing and storing large quantities of water from a public tap.
The water crisis has also hit the functioning of several industries, especially in Chennai. The shortage of water has hit IT companies, five-star hotels and high-rise residential buildings.
While people queuing up with plastic pots in the city has become a common sight, IT companies are going in for various measures, including work from home to stave off the problem. Restaurants are reportedly cutting down on their operational hours and are serving food in disposable plates to save water.
According to a report in Outlook, hospitals are advising patients to postpone their surgeries if they are the “non-emergency kind”.
However, Chief Minister E Palaniswami said his government is taking necessary steps to supply drinking water.
“Water is being supplied through tankers and desalinated water is also being distributed,” Chief Minister E Palaniswami said. He further said water from the Mettur Dam was being released to replenish Veeranam Lake in Cuddalore district and supply drinking water to Chennai as all the city.
Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it was largely dependent on groundwater to meet the requirements till the onset of the northeast monsoon in October.
Palaniswami said drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels but claimed the issue was not as big as was being made out, especially in the media.
Speaking to reporters after reviewing the progress of work on the Jayalalithaa memorial, he urged the media not to create an “illusion” of water scarcity based on a few reports.
The northeast monsoon brings the bulk of rainfall for Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, which is facing a very severe water shortage.
He said though lakes feeding Chennai have dried up, steps were being taken to ensure supply of drinking water, with efforts to augment it from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district.
Meanwhile, the Chennai Water Supply and Sewage Board (CWSSB) stated that the crisis is not as alarming as it is being projected.
Stating that the regular water supply from Chennai Metro Water Board has come down from 830 million litres a day (MLD) to 525 MLD now, TN Hariharan of CWSSB told Indian Express that the crisis will be managed “until November”.